Sunday, March 23, 2014

Changing direction

The Lord is adding to our number - we have been blessed with a few new families coming along to church. One of them is the Upfold family, who we look forward to getting to know better when they move from Ashburton to Timaru in the near future.

Actually, meeting with them has been an answer to prayer - I will sideline this blog post to announce our intentions to homeschool again, starting with Caleb on his own next year and Aaron joining in the year after.  Timaru sadly has no Christian high school, and the more we considered options and prayed over the matter, the more it seemed that the right choice would be homeschooling.  We are no strangers to this mode, having kickstarted the boys' education from the comfort of the Baptist Manse in Jamestown, St Helena.  We homeschooled for four years before enrolling them at TCS.  This time around, as we teach through the high school years, the boys will be working more independently with much less input and hands-on teaching.  So, the plan is that they will use the church as their base, with Nick as the primary overseer (and also a theology teacher); I will continue working but drop a few hours so that I'm available for extra-curricular chauffeuring (et al) each afternoon. We are excited about the new direction and shift in gear for the family - and pleased to say that the boys are looking forward to it too.

Back to the Upfold family then - they homeschool!  I had prayed specifically that the Lord would bring people our way that we could speak with on the topic before we finally settled the decision, and He answered directly and speedily with a family comprising three teenage boys and two younger girls, who all seem to have their feet firmly on the ground, and who enjoy what they are doing.  What a blessing and encouragement to us!

We extended an invitation to the wider church family to join us for a picnic at the Scenic Reserve (when you look out the window after church and see blue sky, you grab the opportunity for a picnic, to be sure!). 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Oh pants

Morning. Breakfast. Coffee. Brush your teeth. A mouse in the bath. A MOUSE IN THE BATH?!  I don't know how Nick and the boys didn't see the miniature monstrosity jumping around and scrabbling to sink its claws into the slippery sides, but I was the unfortunate discoverer of today's fun.  I called in reinforcements...the three men stood staring at the mouse for some time.  I pointed out that I needed to get on with my lavations - "yes, you go and shower", said Nick, forgetting that we only have one bathroom.  So, just me and the mouse.  I checked on it regularly - the only thing worse than knowing it was there, would have been discovering it was no longer there.  I devised a plan though, involving something for it to run up and out of the window.  I scratched around in the wash and found a pair of Aaron's trackpants.  Perfect.  Made sure the mesh was on the inside so the mouse didn't get snagged on the way up; set up my cunning contraption, called the menfolk back to observe the brilliance.  The only thing I didn't anticipate was that the mouse decided to run up the inside of the pants, thus ensuring certain entrapment in the holy fabric.  Bother.  What to do?  Toss the other leg of the pants out the window then stare helplessly, waiting for the creature to emerge?  No.  Aaron set to action - found appropriate footwear and proceeded to shake the garment vigorously.  I could just imagine the poor mouse being tossed about, utterly helpless and completely unable to extricate itself.  Hmm.
I suggested laying the pants flat to see if there was any evident bump.  A sneaky easterly kept making its way up the legs though, suggesting that the mouse had rapidly multiplied.  Aaron found a big stick and was keen to poke all the shifting lumps.  Had to point out that he didn't really want to squoosh a potential mouse in that manner.
Time to get the big guns out - Nick offered a hand.
Oooh er, so much braveness - and finally, without the clock striking one, the mouse ran down, and out and far, far away. 
As a side conclusion, if ever you want to keep a mouse for a pet but have no cage, a bath actually makes a rather ideal place. Unless you like to use your bath for its traditional purpose.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A baby Shlenard

Let's shift gear now from all those birthday about a baby shower! I've gotten to know Shaz and the gals from dancing; it's been good hanging out with these fine ladies, many of whom attend one of the other Baptist churches here in Timaru.
This is Lenard and Shaz's first baby - much excitement all round!  Spent an enjoyable afternoon together over a few games (quite literally, an ice-breaker - free the frozen baby)...
...heaps of yummy food...
...good conversations...
...and a sculpting competition.  The glamhoth below were really intended to be babies, although mine looked like an orc.  An ugly little baby non-hobbitsy orc. 
Oooh, judging time...tricky when some creations were quite well done!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Celebrating life

Onto another special birthday celebration - Nyree's 50th! She was blessed to spend her actual birthday in February with her beloved Lindsay just a few days before the Lord called him home to enjoy glorious and eternal life, so this has been a deferred gathering. (I didn't blog the funeral but it was a beautiful service and wonderful celebration of Lindsay's life, and as he would have wished, a clear gospel message).  We took Nyree and her mum out to The Stables and had a good afternoon of fellowship and laughter together. 

Sunday, March 09, 2014


Happy first birthday to Rosanna! In regular years she would have been much older, but in community years...well, they don't celebrate birthdays, so this was her very first celebration. Time for a bit of spoiling at Coffee Culture after the Sunday evening service - we have a lovely group of ladies always keen for any such events!

Friday, March 07, 2014

Little Nick

We had a mufti day at school today to raise funds for Plunket. Appropriately, the theme was 'dress as a baby' or 'dress as your parents'. The boys had it easy - fake beards and hats were all they needed!  I did a double take when I spotted Nick doing cello practice.  Oh, that's Caleb.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

TCS Thundering

The boys have long been anticipating the start of their Year 7/8 basketball season - they have weekly practices after school with two external coaches who have kindly volunteered their time. Tonight's game was played well and pretty exciting with some great skills from the boys. I'm pleased to say that they won their first game!
Gooooo, Thunder!!
Aaron, number 12, is one of the shorter players on the team, with Caleb, number 4, towards the taller end.  Regardless of height or ability though, it's great experience for them and a thoroughly enjoyable sport!

Wednesday, March 05, 2014


Perhaps it was watching "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" recently, or perhaps it is just a general boredom with the meals I prepare that inspired tonight's we have taco(diles)!
(Second image courtesy of; first image by Nick).

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Comealong (singalong)

And...after the pm service we heard talk of the Gregories going to the de Beers - the Bothas and Clevelys decided they should tag along too, so all gathered for a cuppa, some chook and guineafowl viewing, and a spot of singing.

Winding up at the beach again

After church and our monthly fellowship lunch today we realised that it was another lovely day (you must understand that good weather days are few and far between - the bad ones generally don't get blogged because we generally don't do anything on them!) so off to the beach we went for an afternoon stroll.  We hadn't anticipated the wind though which was pretty intense as we made our way from the park area to the beach!
Turns out we weren't the only ones seeking the shelter of the rocks, although for different reasons - these two penguins were tucked away snug and safe!